Pikeminnow Sport-Reward Fishery Program

You can help save salmon and get paid to do it by going fishing! The Northern Pikeminnow Sport-Reward Fishery Program, funded by the Bonneville Power Administration, administered by the Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission, and implemented by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife is in effect annually on the Columbia and Snake rivers from May 1st through September 30th.  Anglers are paid for each Northern Pikeminnow that they catch that is 9” or larger total length, and the more you catch, the higher the reward.  Rewards begin at $5 for the first 25 Northern Pikeminnow caught during the season.  Anglers are paid $6 for each fish from #26-200, and $8 for every fish caught over 200.  Anglers are paid $500 for specially tagged Northern Pikeminnow! 

The Pikeminnow Program is in effect on the Mainstem Columbia River from the mouth to Priest Rapids Dam (upstream of the Tri Cities, WA) and on the Snake River from the mouth to Hell’s Canyon dam. 

Northern Pikeminnow is a native species that eats millions of salmon and steelhead juveniles each year in the Columbia and Snake river systems.  The goal of the Pikeminnow Program is not to eradicate Northern Pikeminnow, but rather to reduce their average size by removing 10-20% of the larger fish from their population.  Reducing the number of larger Northern Pikeminnow and thus shrinking the average sized fish can greatly help salmon and steelhead make it to sea since smaller sized Northern Pikeminnow eat less smolts than larger fish. 

In 2018, the top 20 anglers caught an average of 3,416 fish per angler and averaged reward payments of $28,723 each for the 5-month season.  The highest paid angler in 2018 caught 8,686 fish and earned $71,049!  BPA funds the Northern Pikeminnow Sport-Reward Fishery to partially mitigate for the impact of the Federal Columbia River Hydroelectric System on salmon and steelhead.  Results indicate that the Pikeminnow Program has been successful with over 4.9 million Northern Pikeminnow removed to date by anglers participating in the Sport-Reward Fishery, and a decrease in predation on juvenile salmonids of up to 40% from pre-program levels.  For additional information on the Pikeminnow Program, please see our website at www.pikeminnow.org

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